Cherry Gateau Basque


The Gateau Basque is a dessert similar to a tart combined with a pie common in the Basque region of Southwestern France. It is made with either rich custard filling or fruit preserves. The crust itself is delicious and buttery with a resemblance in taste to shortbread. The cherry filling I made for this recipe is prepared using whole cherries boiled in cognac with sugar. It’s a dessert that will have you wanting slice after slice! Enjoy!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Inactive Time: 30 minutes to an hour

Bake Time: 35 minutes


2 cups all-purpose flour

3 cups of pitted cherries

¾ cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup of cognac

1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder

6 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg and 1 yolk

1 egg

1 teaspoon corn starch

Vanilla extract

Juice of one lemon

Zest from one lemon


  • In a medium sized saucepan, add the cherries, the brown sugar, the cognac, the lemon zest and juice, and the cornstarch and stir. Bring to a boil and let simmer over a medium heat until it reduces and thickens, but it is still a little liquidy (it will thicken when it bakes)
  • While the cherry filling is simmering, prep the dough making sure to stir the filling occasionally
  • In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder
  • In a separate medium sized bowl, or preferably in a stand mixer bowl, add the butter and regular sugar and mix together using a paddle attachment on a medium-high speed setting until they become fluffy
  • Scrape the butter-sugar mixture down and add the 1 egg and 1 yolk. Mix together on a medium- low speed
  • Mix in the flour mixture into the butter mixture slowly and in two batches until a dough ball begins to form. Separate the dough ball into two equal parts
  • Place both dough balls between two separate sheets of either wax or parchment paper. Roll one of the dough balls out to a little over 11 inches in diameter. Set it aside. Roll the other dough ball to a little over 9 inches in diameter. Keep the rolled out dough sandwiched between the paper sheets. Stack them on top of one another on a baking tray and refrigerate until they firmed and are flexible and can be molded, between 30 minutes to an hour
  • The cherry filling should be reduced by now so let it rest while the dough is in the refrigerator
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Take some butter and grease up a 9 inch cake pan, or better, a springform (cheesecake) pan, at the base and sides. Add a piece of wax or parchment paper to the bottom and grease it as well
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Take the largest dough round and place it in the pan gently, tapping all around and forming the side
  • Add the cherry filling
  • Take the second dough round and gently place it on top. Once it has sealed, using a small paring knife, fold the sides over and gently tap down with your hands, sealing the gateau and forming a crust
  • Using the remaining egg, mix it in a bowl with a few drops of milk and make an egg wash. Before coating the gateau with the egg wash, using a fork, gently make a pattern of crisscrossed lines across the top and then coat it with the egg wash
  • Place it in the middle rack of the oven for about 35 minutes or until golden brown
  • After it has baked, remove and let cool for a few minutes. Then, using a paring knife again, dislodge the gateau from the sides of the pan. Transfer it onto a plate or serving dish and let cool completely
  • Serve with ice cream or eat as is
  • Enjoy!

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